Don’t just do something, stand there – Spruce Street Part 3

A counter intuitive approach to oppositional students.

Be well rested- this environment calls for full engagement.
Be flexible with your curriculum.
Avoid anything that looks like “a therapy session.”
Be funny.
Read the room.
Find the leaders and let them lead.
Find the shy kids and let them slowly engage.
Be foolish.
Be outrageous – it shows them that you are not here to tell on them or discipline them.
Partner closely with the facility staff.
Listen, I mean really listen.
Know their names, even if it is just what they want to be called.
Assess success by participation then by duration of activity.
Ask about their world, gangs, drugs, family, licks, fears, other foster homes, youth services.
Get them talking – about anything.
Redirect the conversation when it becomes too drug focused; talk about the future.
Don’t wait for buy-in, just do it.

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